SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Legend has it that while painting the Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci has a terrible fight with one of his assistants. Afterward, when he went to his studio, picked up his brush and prepared to paint the face of Jesus, he could not. All he could see in his mind was the face of his assistant.

He put the brush down, went to the man and asked his forgiveness. The assistant embraced Leonardo and said, ‘I do forgive you with all my heart.” When daVinci returned to his studio he painted the face of his assistant as the face of Jesus to always remind him that when he sins against a neighbor, he sins against Christ.

We enter this second week of advent anxiously anticipating the coming of the Lord.  Scriptures tell us that the desert will bloom when it sees the glory of God. This glory consists in the trust of His children. Trust is built up through forgiveness, which is why confession is such an important part in the maturing of our spiritual lives.

Falling on your knees and asking God to forgive you is a part of healing from the fear we can sometimes possess because of our pride.

Believe in the power of Jesus to heal you; to embrace you in your weaknesses. Our God saves His people, so ‘that your love may increase more and more…so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.

Do not be afraid to admit your crooked ways, be afraid not to ask for forgiveness from the priest who has been sent to make your crooked ways straight.

 

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by Father Cioppi

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Usually around the 4thof July, I begin singing just a few lines of Winter Wonderland: ‘sleigh bells ring are you listening…” My staff yell at me that it is too early for Christmas music and that I am wishing my life away. But before you know it, it’s the First Week of Advent. The awareness of this moment is surely a metaphor for the message of the Scriptures today: we don’t know when the hour will come. It will be unexpected. This is why the true disciple must be vigilant, watch and be ready.

This Advent time offers us the opportunity to build up our faith, a faith we know from Scripture that comes from listening. It is this listening that God speaks to us and re-enforces our relationship with Him.

God offers us time to be still. In this stillness, we are able to lay down our anxieties and fears and rest a bit in His Presence.

If you would take just five minutes, maybe ten each morning to place yourself in the Presence of God and without words or thoughts give yourselves over to the silence of that moment with only the name of Jesus on your lips, you would have a better day, a holier Christmas and a healthier life.

Do you hear them sleigh bells ringing? Be vigilant then, He has already come!

 

 

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by Father Cioppi

FATHER CIOPPI INVITES YOU TO MDP’S PARISH TRIP TO FRANCE

14-24 OCTOBER 2019

PLEASE JOIN US FOR A TRIP THROUGH FASCINATING FRANCE WITH A VISIT TO LOURDES AND OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • World War II Battlefields of Normandy in this 75th Anniversary Year and the American Cemetery
  • Full-Day Tour of Parish, including Notre Dame Cathedral; Rue de Bac (Miraculous Medal); Sacre Coeur and Montmartre
  • Guided visit of the Island of Saint Michael
  • Guided visit to Versailles
  • Full day guided tour of Lisieux (Shrine of Saint Theresa, the Little Flower)
  • Visit Nevers, the resting place of Saint Bernadette
  • Guided Tour of the Papal Palace in Avignon
  • Full day visit to the Shrine at Lourdes
  • Visit the Birthplace of Saint Vincent De Paul in Puoy on the way to the town of Bordeaux

DURING THE TRIP, THERE WILL BE TWO WINE-TASTING EXCURSIONS –

CHATEAUNEUF DE PAPE AND BORDEAUX

DETAILS:

  • Nine nights accommodations
  • Nine Breakfasts
  • Six planned Dinners
  • English-speaking tour Escort throughout

Price starts at $3,653 per person, Land only, based on Double Occupancy.  If there are more than 35 participants, the price will reflect the discount.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT

www.ventescsatravel.net


 

 

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by Susan Dugary

“The Lord is King; He is robed in majesty!”

The third Act of ‘Our Town,’ by Thornton Wilder, opens with the narrator walking amid the graves in the town cemetery of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. He stops and says to the audience, “An awful lot of sorrow has been quieted up here.” Then he pauses and says: “We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses…and it ain’t earth and it ain’t even the tsars…Everybody knows…that has something to do with human beings…They’re waitin’ for something that they feel is coming! Something important, and great. Aren’t they waitin’ for the eternal part of them to come out in the clear?”

As we celebrate Christ the King we place Him in the center of our own hearts and reclaim Him as Lord of eternal Life.

Jesus is a king who loves. Because He loves human beings to the shedding of His blood, He loves each of us by delivering us from sin. Only love is capable of liberating us from that bondage, thus making us truly free to live the life we have been destined to complete in Him.

Advent is a time of waiting for something we know is coming. Something important and great. Allow the eternal part of you to come out in the clear for all to see. Help others place Christ, the Eternal King, in their lives too.

 

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by Father Cioppi

Have the children learned to pray for souls?

These last two weeks before Advent, the Scriptures speak of the end of time when all things will be made new. The Church gathers us together to help us prepare. At the end of our life, what will we be able to say?

This month dedicated to our praying for the poor souls in purgatory gives us the opportunity to think about what purgatory is and the likelihood of us being there.

Purgatory is a period after our death, when we are suspended from seeing God. It is a purification of love that purifies our souls from sins for which we have not repented or for which we have not done penance.

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by Father Cioppi

What about our ‘mite?’

The widow this morning becomes an icon for us in our spiritual journey to heaven. God has given us everything. Nothing we have belongs to us. We are simply stewards of God’s creation.

Saint Augustine puts it matter-of-factly: “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder which you do not require is needed by others”

What prevents us from giving of our surplus to others? Whatever the reason, the truth of the Gospel does not diminish. The world might complicate our perception of the widow’s mite but it does not change the reality of her gift: ‘her whole livelihood. We need to think about her today and understand how we can imitate her in our own life.

On this Veterans’ Day as we mark in a special way one hundred years since the end of the First Great War, we remember the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to protect the freedoms God gave us. They too knew what the cost would be – their whole livelihood. It makes you wonder for whom or for what would we be willing to offer our lives.

 

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by Father Cioppi

Saint Charles Seminary Annual Appeal

During the month of November, our parish is devoting herself to praying for our seminarians. We remind ourselves that Christ is calling many of our men to His Priesthood and as a parish, we cannot be afraid to admit that these men are among our families and friends.

In this month, look around you; listen and look for men who may have a priestly heart, one that is generous ,kind, giving and prayerful. Let him know what you think and encourage him to talk with his parish priest (that would be me) and begin discerning if God has given him this vocation.

Link here: http://www.scs.edu/

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Act on your gifts, you will not be far from the Kingdom

Today a young man of our parish wishes to be fully initiated into the Church as a Catholic. He is willing to open his heart to the gifts which will soon be called down upon him in order that he might be able to produce good fruit for the sake of souls in the world; for the sake of manifesting the Kingdom of God on earth, among us and within us: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control and Chastity.

It will take courage to be such a man, a true defender of the faith, a true preacher of the Gospel in a heathen world. And for this the Holy Spirit will descend on our brother and give him Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude,Knowledge, Piety and Fear of God.

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by Father Cioppi

God is near; He frees us of our blindness!

 

Mark reveals the desire of Jesus that we see the inner beauty of life, that we cast off whatever blindness leads us to isolation and that we understand that inside people are new exciting possibilities to be better and to always be more: more human, more Christian.

These are scary times. Everyone seems on edge. If we have become news junkies we see only the chaos and tragedy of other people’s lives invading our homes and we can become blinded to the goodness, charity and beauty of human life with God.

Blindness leads to fear, my friends and Satan lives on fear and despair.

But we have come together today as God’s People, as people professing that Jesus is Lord, and that through Him Satan has no more power over us, he can no longer deceive us even in our blindness, so we cannot give up hope. We are after all descendants of the resurrection! We are all descendants of Bartimaeus who was cured of his blindness, so he could reveal the Light of Faith to all.

My friends, Catholics believe in the goodness of humanity, even though we are sometimes blinded by the evil we do. Take the Light of Christ that casts off the shadows of sin and build new relationships based on respect and love of even your enemies. If we do this my friends, we need not despair. God is with us; He heals our blindness and brings us into the Light of the New Day!

 

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by Father Cioppi

World Mission Sunday

This is World Mission Sunday and our minds and hearts reach out today to people who in extraordinary ways make it their business in life to live out the Gospel of Jesus on the Continents of Africa and Asia, and in South America. “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

These catechists remind us that we share this mission here in America, and in Europe where the faith is weakening and our silence deafening. Christ needs us my friends, to be catechists in a new generation of disciples. In these very public times, we have an opportunity to express Christ’s teaching as servants of both the Word and the Sacrament, in the way the Church reveals that Truth to us.

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by Father Cioppi